Front Line Stuff
Edited by Mark Ray
Teaching Bobcat Requirements to Nonreaders
Because most new Tiger Cubs can’t read, Cub Scout leader H.R. is looking for creative ways to teach Bobcat requirements to these young boys.
I make sure to include the Cub Scout Promise in the den’s opening ceremony and the Law of the Pack in the closing ceremony. At first, the boys had to echo someone, but now they can say both of them in unison.
We adapted the game of “Simon Says” and called it “Akela Says.” We included typical items (jump, clap, hop) but also included Scouting items: Make the Cub Scout sign, give the salute, say the motto, etc. The boys had great fun and learned many of the requirements of the Bobcat badge.
The first month, we assign each new Tiger Cub a Bear buddy to help him with his Bobcat advancement trail. The second month, we have the den chief bring each Tiger Cub and his buddy forward together to recite the Cub Scout Promise, etc. The younger boys learn their Bobcat requirements, and the older boys earn part of the Be A Leader achievement.
Run a relay race where boys must pass a correct handshake or salute down the ranks of their team or run to the den leader to recite the Cub Scout motto. This is also a great way to introduce good sportsmanship, physical fitness, and team spirit.
One of our favorite ways to teach the Cub Scout Promise was to time them with a stopwatch. The boys were spurred on by a little friendly competition and heard many repetitions of the promise, which helped them learn it.
We’re having a lot of fun with a game similar to “Hollywood Squares.” Draw a tic-tac-toe board on poster board and use parents as a pool of “stars.”
Divide the Scouts into two groups: X’s and O’s. The teams take turns. They pick a square, and that square’s “star” asks a true-or-false Bobcat question.
Correct answers earn the tic-tac-toe mark; incorrect answers give the other team a chance to “steal” the square if they can give the correct answer. The game is won when a team scores three in a row.
When I led a special-needs den, I created workbooks with a page for each requirement. Many of the pages were done in den meetings; others I sent home for the boys to do with a parent.
At den meetings, I often set up easy group activities that I didn’t have to carefully supervise and worked with just one boy so I’d have his full attention. I handed out stars and other instant rewards. All the boys successfully advanced on time.
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